I studied Natural Science and Architecture at King’s College Cambridge, before joining Applied Research of Cambridge Ltd, founded by Lionel March and Philip Steadman, one of the first of the “Cambridge phenomenon” companies, and the first in this country to develop software for architectural design. In the seventies, my OXSYS and BDS projects, aimed at the design, documentation and analysis of system-built hospitals, resulted in the first practical BIM software. In the eighties I developed GDS (General Drafting System), for geometrical drawing (and later solid modelling) applicable to many different design disciplines. In 1986, following the take-over of Applied Research by McDonnell Douglas, I became Technical Director of their AEC (Architecture, Engineering and Construction) Systems Company.
I joined the Martin Centre (the research wing of the University of Cambridge Department of Architecture) in 1989, becoming its Director in 1992. There I lead the CADLAB, a group of researchers into architectural Computer-aided design, and founded with Nick Ray of the Cambridge Historical Buildings Group. The CADLAB made contributions to sketch design, interfaces for geometrical design, digital photogrammetry, urban texture analysis and spatial simulation, and generated notable innovations in the area of interactive rendering and use of game engines for architectural communication.
In 2005 I took up a chair in Architectural Computing at the University of Bath, and worked on software for the design of buildings and structures with complex geometry, and the application of computers to various aspects of architectural history in particular the virtual reconstruction of historic landscapes and gardens.
On retiring from Bath I have been appointed to a part-time research chair at the University of Westminster, where I continue to work on the virtual reconstruction of historic buildings and cultural landscapes.
I am a registered architect and have been at various times: director of Applied Research of Cambridge, Moller Centre, Informatix Software International; chairman of the Construction Industry Computer Association; advisor to the National Film and Television School; Vice-Master of Churchill College Cambridge.